When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many people were left isolated and detached from their local communities. So how, during lockdown, did those who needed access the most, get the help that they required?
One outstanding example of a first-class initiative was the What To Do? programme by Community Integrated Care, one of the UK’s largest and most successful social care charities, which supports 4000 (approx) people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns, dementia, and complex care needs. This inspiring multi-faceted platform – free and easily accessible online – allows people who access care and support to do so from the comfort of their own homes.
Utilising the combined expertise of Rugby League’s Leeds Rhinos, Football’s Pompey in the Community Trust, Age Exchange – a leading charity that promotes arts and creativity in social care, and the Rugby League World Cup 2021; users can access unique and exceptional live Zoom sessions. Every session is led by a specialist in their field and has been crafted with an emphasis on accessibility and inclusion.
Those taking part can cook along with Portsmouth FC on a Tuesday, dance on a Wednesday, and go to the disco on Saturday. If you want to unwind at the end of a busy week, then worry not, because What To Do? have also got Yoga – coming soon on a Sunday!
As well as hosting daily activities, the website also offers a range of other free resources. These include training packs, art toolkits, and several programmes that promote independent living skills.
www.What-To-Do.co.uk will also be home to special seasonal celebrations, such as Halloween and Christmas events, as well as VIP meet and greets with celebrity Ambassadors and supporters of the charity.
Oliver Thomason, Sports Inclusion Assistant at Community Integrated Care, said of the programme: “These sessions have been amazing for me. I have a learning disability and I’m always looking for new fun and accessible things to try. This year, I’ve learned how to cook through these classes and I now love to make a meal for my family every week. It’s been great to meet new people and to try so many new things.”
In difficult times, schemes such as these are a hugely valuable resource. With a 7-day, action-packed schedule, it’s clear that What To Do? really could continue to benefit people as we move through the pandemic. With that being said, let’s hope that DJ Ged’s Saturday night disco is still playing long after the pandemic is over, as these initiatives do so much to uplift and enrich people’s lives.
What To Do? is supported by funding from the NHS. Community Integrated Care is supported by Sport England.